Dubai Airports expects record-breaking summer for passenger traffic


By Dermot Davitt

Dubai International Airport posted a +13.6% surge in passenger traffic in May, to 3.65 million. It is the eleventh month in a row of double-digit traffic growth since June 2009.

Passenger traffic in the year to date stands at 18.8 million, up by +17.7% on the first five months of last year.

“The outlook remains strong as we expect traffic during June and September to hit record levels owing to the onset of the summer travel season,” said Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths.

“An average of 100,000 passengers per day travelled through Dubai International during the summer rush in 2009, and the number is likely to be much higher this year.”

To cope with rising traffic volumes and maintain service levels the airport has deployed 250 volunteers and staff from different cultures to welcome and guide passengers from the time they arrive at the airport until they reach their boarding gates.

The strong traffic figures come in the same week as the historic first flight into the new Dubai World Central–Al Maktoum International Airport took place. The new airport, which will open in phases in the coming years, will begin cargo operations on 27 June.

Phase 1 of the airport will feature one A380-capable runway, 64 remote stands, one cargo terminal with annual capacity for 250,000 tonnes of cargo and a passenger terminal building designed to accommodate 5 million passengers per year.

When completed Dubai World Central–Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world with five runways, four terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo. The facility opens initially for cargo carriers, with passenger operations currently slated to start up at the end of March 2011.